Friday, December 4, 2009

Spring Breezes

Oil on Canvas Board
11x14

For this picture, I tried using the technique I learned at the Susan Sarback workshop. She is so good, that I have been intimidated to try it again, but I got stuck with this picture, so I was going to use it “just a little”, but I wound up doing the whole picture this way. I think the chroma is too bright overall, but I am basically happy with it.

This is from a photo I took in the springtime. The colors were vivid, but the photo did not catch that (of course).

I started painting this “normally”, but the sky was such a dead color. I was using Winton cerulean, and when I lightened it, it was just dead. It was like I had mixed it with light gray. So I thought about how Susan said to under paint things in light in warm colors. I mixed up pale yellow, and spread it all over the sky with a knife. Then I got a different brand cerulean (Lucas) and when I lightened it, it was clear and bright. I smeared that on top of the pale yellow sky and it looked great.

Then I decided to use the knife on the gum trees, and I used all different kinds of colors. I was not shooting for a million-dollar painting, so I was mostly experimenting. That came out good enough too.

I had started the grass earlier, but now it didn’t match. I scraped it all off, and saved the green, and I put down yellow. Then I knifed in the green that I had scraped off. The wind had been blowing and the grass was bent over and shimmery. In the photo, it just looked white, but I knew it was reflecting the sky, so I used some of my sky color for it. The whole thing does not look “real”, so this looked good enough for me.

The mustard was the hardest because mustard is so bright and everything else was bright too. So I just did my best.

The thing I learned most was not to be afraid to use what I learned at Susan Sarback’s workshop. Maybe I can’t paint exactly like her, but the technique does a good enough job until I get better at it.